LSU star Kayshon Boutte will eschew the upcoming NFL Draft and return to Baton Rouge for his senior season, the wide receiver announced Monday. Boutte was projected as a consensus first-round pick, but is passing on the opportunity in hopes of competing for a title in 2023.
"LSU has been nothing but amazing to me," Boutte said. "My growth under the new staff has helped me to reach new levels. While we did not achieve the overall goal, we still fought and produced results that will be a stepping stone for future success ... while some stories will end here, mine will not. Let's lock in and focus on the main goal of any LSU Tiger: Winning a national championship."
The decision is quite a flip for Boutte after conflict early in the season fueled transfer rumors. Boutte wiped all references to LSU from his social media after a painful 24-23 loss to Florida State in the season opener and had just one catch for four yards in a narrow 21-17 win over Auburn.
After the sparks, Boutte recommitted himself and helped fuel a major turnaround at LSU. The junior caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in the SEC Championship Game against No. 1 Georgia and finished with 538 yards and two touchdowns. Over the past three seasons, Boutte has caught 131 passes for 1,782 yards and 16 touchdowns.
"Boutte had a slow start to the season but has been warming up in recent weeks -- right along with the LSU offense," CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson wrote while mocking Boutte No. 21 to the Baltimore Ravens. "He's not in the same conversation as former Tigers Justin Jefferson or Ja'Marr Chase (duh) but he's been an impact player in '20 and '22, and his numbers have improved over the course of the '22 campaign."
Early projections had Boutte as a top contender for the WR1 spot in the 2023 NFL Draft, but his stock slipped because of his inconsistent season. With a full season of dominance, Boutte could work himself into the top-10 conversation against a stacked class that will include Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and Texas receiver Xavier Worthy.